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The Quest for Peace and Prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Beyond

Korea at the UN

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Republic of Korea is a firm believer in multilateral cooperation as the way forward for greater peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia, in the Asia-Pacific, and on the global stage. Thus, at the UN, we are endeavoring to contribute to the work of the global organization as well as to its on-going reforms.

Many countries of the Asia-Pacific, including the Republic of Korea, owe much to the UN for the peace and prosperity they now enjoy. Indeed, the rise of the Asia-Pacific, the economic and social development of the region, would have been unlikely without the support and engagement of the UN. All should feel an obligation to contribute to the efforts to reform the UN into a more efficient and effective global body.

My country, the Republic of Korea, has long been a prime beneficiary and proponent of multilateralism, particularly as embodied in the UN system. Indeed, Korea is a rare success story in the sixty years of UN efforts to promote peace and security, development and human rights around the world.

Having experienced war and managed stability for half a century, having gone from poverty to prosperity, from authoritarian rule to full-fledged democracy, Korea has undergone the full spectrum of challenges that are on the agenda of the UN. In the process, we have learned through experience what Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan has steadfastly articulated: that security provides the key to development, and without development peace is not sustainable; above all, that the full respect for human rights is a prerequisite for sustainable peace and prosperity.

It is in this context that I was nominated by my government as a candidate for the post of the next Secretary-General of the UN. Over the past months, I have promoted my candidacy with humility, presenting my thoughts and listening to the views of others on current challenges facing the UN and the international community.